Hippo Challenge #9 (read the challenge here)
So does anyone else experience "Guilt Attacks?" I do!!
First let's talk about Hippo (from my book You Should, You Should for those who are new here). Let's imagine that before he takes ownership of his individuality and identity, before his grand moment of assertiveness,.... let's imagine how he might have felt earlier in the game had he wanted to say "No, I don't want to do that." Probably.... guilt. Unnecessary guilt of course.
Might have gone something like this:
Possum: "Hey you should climb this tree! Hang upside down, it's so fun!!"
Hippo: "Ummm... well actually... the thing is... I mean climbing is great... and no offense, but you see, ... I kind of, uhh . . . maybeee . . . don't. Like. Climbing?" (Immediate panic sets in) Oh no. What is Possum thinking? What if he doesn't like me now!? He's going to be sad! I don't want him to think I don't like him! What is he going to say next? What will he tell his friends?! What will this mean for our friendship! How rude of me! It's not that big of a deal what I like or don't like, what was I thinking? I'm not that important! I can just suck it up and climb the tree if that's what he wants! It's fine! I'm sorry for saying that!
At the same time, Hippo performs the unfortunate act of suppressing his own feelings and wants. Telling himself others are important and he is not, that he doesn't matter, and putting the very worth and value of others above himself. Therefore growing another small step closer to losing his identity. Danger zone!
Now that his feelings are suppressed and self-worth appears less than others, he's prone to another feeling. Lots and lots and lots of guilt. Then, normal daily activities can become increasingly riddled with lots of unnecessary yucky guilt. Ever caught yourself in a guilt attack? Mine have been muuuch fewer and farther apart! :)
Buuuut, I had a sudden one yesterday, completely out of nowhere. It went like this:
Me: "I'm going to the store! Wanna come?" Wait... unless you don't want to... I'm sorry I asked... you can stay home if you want... okay Ginny calm down.
Roommate: "Yeah I'll come with you!"
Me: "Okay." (still feels guilty but shakes it off for the most part)
On the way to the car -
Me: "Sorry we have to walk all the way across the street to my car, I couldn't park closer!"
Roommate: "It's okay Gin, I had to park all the way down there last week!" (points farther away)
Me: "Okay." (still feels guilty but tries to shake it off again)
On the way to Smith's -
Me: "Oh my goodness I just passed our turn! I'm sorry!! I always do that!" I'm so dumb, she probably wishes she was with a different roommate who knows how to go to Smith's! Plus I don't know what to talk about right now... I should apologize that she had to come with me.
Roommate: (chuckles) "Have you done that before? Oh, that's funny Gin."
Me: "Yeah." Good thing I have good friends. She's just entertained. But still. Uuuuugh.
At Smith's -
Me: I'm sorry I'm taking so long to buy my things! I'm sorry I forgot which part of the store the chips are! I'm sorry I'm taking up the whole top part of the cart while you are taking the bottom! I'm sorry I still don't have exciting things to say or funny jokes to tell while we're shopping! I'm sorry I'm not as fun as x or y or even z!
After checking out -
Me: (Quieter and gloomier)
Roommate: " . . . Are you okay?"
Me: "Yes, I just keep doing dumb things." And I'm sorry you had to see it all. (guilt is heavy now)
After we get home -
Roommate: "Let's watch Haunted Mansion!"
Roommate: (observes my gloominess) "Or we don't have to, if you'd rather watch it another time that's totally fine."
Me: "No I do want to watch it." (Next, I practice my skills and take a healthier turn for the better) . . . "Do you ever have moments where you feel guilty about everything you do? I'm having one of those moments and it's getting to me and I'm trying to shake it off and calm down." (I finally came out of my head and put my feelings and thoughts into words! Points for me on the healthy board!)
Roommate: (Shared her own experiences she sometimes has which are somewhat similar. I was able to remember we're all silly humans, and I'm okay.)
At least I recognize what happened and can learn from it. That's what important! It's okay to have crazy moments especially if we're using them to learn.
Once again, there I go being incredibly vulnerable telling the whole online world about my anxieties and codependent moments. However, I've had a lot of people reach out to me privately and thank me for talking about this. I'd like to encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences here in comments so you can all find out you're not alone (and thanks to those who were brave and have already done so)! We're all silly humans! :) We're all equally important. We all deserve good things. We all deserve to get our wants and needs met, and feelings are okay whatever they may be.